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Global PhD Programme, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
University rank #801 (QS) Lisbon, Portugal
The Global PhD Programme at Catholic University of Portugal examines the nature of legal reasoning, the truth-conditions of legal argument, the history of legal thought and a variety of resources from other disciplines useful to the study of law. It is a ‘nuts and bolts’ course for researchers in the field.
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The Research Workshop is designed to enable doctoral candidates to articulate and to implement a research proposal and to conduct forms of research relevant to the study of law in a global context, namely traditional library research, online research, and empirical research.

The Scientific Debate Forum is held every two weeks; it consists in a paper presentation by a guest academic followed by a discussion open to the entire research community at the Law School and the Research Centre. Attendance of the Forum is mandatory for doctoral candidates with the aim of exposing them to cutting-edge legal scholarship in different fields of law and embroiling them in the culture of academic debate.

The Global PhD Programme at Catholic University of Portugal culminates with the thesis proposal, which is a document of no more than 63,000 characters identifying the proposed subject of the dissertation, explaining the methodology (or methodologies) adopted, containing a brief literature review, and outlining the building blocks of the future thesis. The thesis proposal is assessed by a committee composed of the supervisor and two professors appointed by the Scientific Board of the Law School. Approval of the proposal moves the candidate into the second stage of the programme — preparing a dissertation.

The curricular structure of the dissertation preparation stage is flexible, so as to suit the needs of each candidate. Each candidate and his/her supervisor, with the help of a Tutor, should decide what course of study is appropriate given the former’s goals and the subject of his/her thesis. In any case, the candidate is expected to report every year on the progress of his/her work and the supervisor should monitor closely and support the candidate throughout this stage.

Mentoring of the students

Mentorship is secured by a Tutor in the first stage of the programme and by the former and the Supervisor once the candidate proceeds to the second stage. The Tutor is chosen among the CGSL faculty. 

The Tutor’s role is to support and monitor Ph.D. candidates. In the first stage of the programme, the Tutor (i) meets each candidate to learn about his/her research agenda and to help him/her build a thesis proposal; (ii) directs  him/her to faculty members who have published in the area; (iii) assists the candidate in selecting a pool of potential supervisors; (iv) suggests the attendance of courses, seminars, and conferences besides the formal curriculum that are likely to enrich the candidate’s knowledge and to lend greater focus to his/her research goals; (v) and answers the candidates’ queries and concerns about the curricular mechanics and the administrative structure of the programme. In sum, the Tutor personifies the institutional support that the Law School grants each candidate from the very first day into the programme.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date
    • The period for applications is now open until December 31st
  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
    • Duration description

      8 semesters

  • Credits
    240 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Methodology Seminar
  • Scientific Debate Forum
  • Research Workshop
  • Thesis Proposal and Research Plan
  • Doctoral Research and Writing

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120.

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks.

General Requirements

  • A basic Law degree (LL.B., licenciatura, J.D., or equivalent) or, exceptionally, in a neighbouring discipline if the candidate’s purported research falls at the intersection of law and the discipline in question;

  • A master’s degree in Law;
  • Proficiency in English mainly certified by a TOEFL score of 600 on the paper-based test or 100 on the internet-based test, or an IELTS score of 7.0, obtained within two years prior to the application, or Cambridge’s Certificate of Proficiency in English with a minimum grade of A;
  • Completion of at least one scholarly text, which may be a master’s thesis or a text of comparable scope.

Tuition Fee

The admitted candidates will receive a full tuition waiver and a monthly stipend paid by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology.

Living costs for Lisbon

  • 630 - 1130 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.



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